Clinica Sierra Vista WIC

Teaching Kids Kitchen Safety

How to prevent kitchen fires this holiday season

by Vaun Thygerson
Staff writer and mother of three

With the holiday season well underway, your menu preparations and cooking plans become a major part of the festivities. You need to amp up safety because according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), this room can be one of the most dangerous areas in your home.  Three in 10 reported home fires start in the kitchen, usually from unattended cooking.  Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires.      

In 2010, cooking at home resulted in an estimated 156,400 structure fires in the United States.  These fires caused 420 deaths, 5,310 injuries and $993 million in direct property damage. Cooking caused 44% of reported home fires, 16% of home fire deaths, 40% of home fire injuries, and 15% of the direct property damage in 2010.

Here are some tips on how you can keep your family safe while cooking in the kitchen this holiday season:

Kitchen fire safety starts with the cook! Wear short or tight fitting sleeves when cooking.

Stand by your pan!  Never leave cooking unattended, but if you must leave the kitchen for a moment, turn the surface burners off.

Keep small appliances unplugged when not in use and keep them clean and dry.

If a small grease fire occurs, use the “Put A Lid On It” technique. Smother the flames by sliding a cover or larger pan over the fire and turn off the burner; never pour water on a grease fire or move the burning pan.  If the fire does not go out instantly, leave the house and call the fire department.

Keep the stove clear of anything flammable, including pot holders, napkins, papers, and towels.

Always turn handles of pots and frying pans inward on the kitchen ranges so that they cannot be knocked over by accident.

Keep the gas cooktop away from open windows where wind could extinguish the cooking flames.

Keep baking soda on hand for extinguishing kitchen fires.

For more information on how to keep your family safe this holiday season, please visit  

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Tags: Featured Story, Food & Home

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